Sunday, 3 January 2016

2015 - or How Knitting Saved My Life.

At the beginning of 2015 I couldn't go to the supermarket without having a panic attack. I slept for about 18 hours a day and I left the flat two days a week to go to work. I stopped going to university, I didn't cook anything. I stayed in bed, ate packet after packet of biscuits and wished I was dead. I'd been doing this for about five months before it became evident that I was going to fail my degree, not be able to afford to live in my over priced South London flat anymore and if nothing worse, eat myself to death. So in February, I moved to Sussex, to live in the spare room of my parents' new house, while I tried to put myself back together.


When I left London I weighed 210bs - I was an 18/20 UK dress size. This is a photo of my Docklight sweater that didn't make it onto the blog.

Leaving London was the hardest thing I have ever done. It's the only place I've ever lived. I had a job I enjoyed, with a company I was proud to work for. I had the kind of friends I have never had before. I had my independence and I lived in a flat with the best flatmate a girl could wish for. But I was miserable, I was more depressed than I'd ever been and I was so scared of everything that I rarely went outside. Eating was the only thing that temporarily made me feel alright. So I didn't have a choice, there wasn't a decision to be made, I had to leave.


The Spring Beret I knit for Aleks in the Buckaloo View Mystery Hat Swap.

When I arrived in Sussex, I didn't know anybody, I'd completely lost my knitting mojo and I thought my life was over. I would stare at the walls for hours on end and sleep just for some space away from my thoughts. And then I knit a hat for a swap that my friend Nina said I should join. I knit the Spring Beret by Natalie Larson in a day and it turned out that actually knitting was all it took to kickstart my mojo.


Some of my Stranded Dyeworks yarn in the Paradise MCN base.

I got a retail job to pay for driving lessons. I started and then finished therapy. I met with my doctor and started taking new meds that actually work. I joined a knitting group. I lost 28lbs. I passed my driving theory test in November and I opened up an online shop to sell my hand dyed yarns. I started this blog. And I knit. A lot.


A handful of projects from 2015.

Looking back on the things I made last year, validates the time I spent, predominantly alone, getting well.

Yesterday I booked flights to go to Nashville, Tennessee in July, to attend the SSK retreat run by The Knit Girllls. That's a 15hr flight with two stopovers. I have never been on a plane on my own before, I have never been on holiday on my own before. In July, it's just me and a suitcase full of knitting, heading across the Atlantic on the biggest adventure I have ever had. And to think, this time last year I couldn't walk five minutes down the street to the supermarket on my own.


I'm sorry for posting this photo for a third time - but I wanted a recent photograph of me to contrast with the first photo. 

I'm looking forward to everything that 2016 has in store for me and I intend to spend as much of it as possible, needles in hand. I'm not sure if knitting saved my life, but it definitely helped.



Sidenote: If you're struggling with Depression or Anxiety or any mental illness, it is the worst thing in the world. A year ago I wanted nothing more than my life to be over. It does get better. It's not always perfect. But it does get better. 

10 comments:

  1. Very brave post, Amy. Thanks for sharing and glad to hear that you're doing better :)

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    1. Thankyou for reading! :) I am, suddenly life is full of potential again! xx

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  2. Ditto; this is a brave post...with a happy outcome. Hope that the new year bring many memories, blessings, happiness, knitting time and good health! xoxo from the other side of the ocean...

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    1. Thankyou Monica! I'm sending so much love from the UK! <3

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  3. Thank you so much for posting this. I know that it will encourage those who suffer this awful sense of despair. I am so glad you are taking that journey. Have a lovely sparkly new year filled with creativity and know you are never alone. Well done to you for going forward with life. Happy knitting
    😀😀🎆🎆

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    1. I really hope it does - then it somehow makes everything worth it. Thank you ever so much! Have a wonderful 2016! xxx

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  4. I had no idea that hat meant so much! I love it even more now - thank you.

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  5. Great post Amy. Stay positive and have a great time in Nashville!

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